The Idler, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 110 pages of information about The Idler, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893.
a huge bundle.  It was found that he had several banking accounts, with a large, recently-paid amount in each bank.  Tom was arrested.  Attention was now concentrated on the corpses washed up by the river.  It was not long before the body of Roxdal came to shore, the face distorted almost beyond recognition by long immersion, but the clothes patently his, and a pocket-book in the breast-pocket removing the last doubt.  Mrs. Seacon and Polly and Clara Newell all identified the body.  Both juries returned a verdict of murder against Tom Peters, the recital of Clara’s dream producing a unique impression in the court and throughout the country.  The theory of the prosecution was that Roxdal had brought home the money, whether to fly alone or to divide it, or whether even for some innocent purpose, as Clara believed, was immaterial.  That Peters determined to have it all, that he had gone out for a walk with the deceased, and, taking advantage of the fog, had pushed him into the river, and that he was further impelled to the crime by love for Clara Newell, as was evident from his subsequent relations with her.  The judge put on the black cap.  Tom Peters was duly hung by the neck till he was dead.

[Illustration:  “Identified the body.”]

CHAPTER VII.

Brief resume of the culprit’s confession.

When you all read this I shall be dead and laughing at you.  I have been hung for my own murder.  I am Everard G. Roxdal.  I am also Tom Peters.  We two were one.  When I was a young man my moustache and beard wouldn’t come.  I bought false ones to improve my appearance.  One day, after I had become manager of the City and Suburban Bank, I took off my beard and moustache at home, and then the thought crossed my mind that nobody would know me without them.  I was another man.  Instantly it flashed upon me that if I ran away from the Bank, that other man could be left in London, while the police were scouring the world for a non-existent fugitive.  But this was only the crude germ of the idea.  Slowly I matured my plan.  The man who was going to be left in London must be known to a circle of acquaintance beforehand.  It would be easy enough to masquerade in the evenings in my beardless condition, with other disguises of dress and voice.  But this was not brilliant enough.  I conceived the idea of living with him.  It was Box and Cox reversed.  We shared rooms at Mrs. Seacon’s.  It was a great strain, but it was only for a few weeks.  I had trick clothes in my bedroom like those of quick-change artistes; in a moment I could pass from Roxdal to Peters and from Peters to Roxdal.  Polly had to clean two pairs of boots a morning, cook two dinners, &c., &c.  She and Mrs. Seacon saw one or the other of us every moment; it never dawned upon them they never saw us both together.  At meals I would not be interrupted, ate off two plates, and conversed with

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The Idler, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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